Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy be your Christmas!

Happy Christmas everyone.

I hope you have a fabulous break and a prosperous 2012.

With love always,



Saturday, December 10, 2011

"In the end, winning is the only safety."

While my memories of Doctor Who dribble all the way back to 1979 and beyond I was a teensy bit young for Blake's 7 the first time around. I have a few memories of watching the series from between my fingers* but it wasn't until UK Gold reran the series in it's entirety in the early nineties that I finally got to appreciate the show. I think I went a bit Blake's 7 mad for a while. 

I think I've gone a bit Blake's 7 mad again. I don't know what's caused it. It might have been playing through Mass Effect 2 or reading Iain M. Banks' Player of Games**. It might have been finally getting around to listening to the first of the B7 media audioplays, Rebel, two or three months ago (it's good stuff). It may just have been a rising pitch of excitement since Big Finish were revealed to be preparing a new series of audio dramas and novels. Squee doesn't come close to covering it. I've even dug out issue one of the Blake's 7 poster magazine*** and now have a tatty picture of the series two Liberator crew adorning the study.

Anyway, after talking about it for many years my good lady (or woman, as Gan would say) and I finally started watching the series from the beginning recently. She has never watched it before (well, maybe a few episodes when the DVDs were coming out) and I am well due a rewatch. I might post some notes here as we go. If you are, or were, a fan of Blake's 7 I'd be delighted to have any comments, notes or disputes offered via the comments****.

* I've mentioned this before
** (if the main character isn't at least partly inspired by Kerr Avon I'll eat my hat (and also, I've often thought the AIs in the Culture seem very similar to those of B7))
*** There were only seven issues, and I only ever saw one in a shop, worse luck.
**** I'm not too interested in knocking the effects. I think that's been pretty extensively covered in the last three decades. Of course, I wouldn't let that stand in the way of a good gag.

Friday, December 09, 2011

The Road to the Red Planet

This update is late, sorry. I meant to do a 'What did I learn from NaNoWriMo' type post last week but time has rather got away from me. I will try and do something like that soon but in the meantime I'll just say that it was a really good exercise, got me in to a nice (if intense) routine and I'm happy to have met the traditional target. I hoped initially to write 60k words rather than 50k, and on learning of the Heartlands opportunity I amended this to trying to finish a week early, but due to a family emergency type situation I lost a few days and failed both of those self-imposed targets.

Although it was fun to write I can't see me ever going back to revise the book. It will require a lot of work to make it into a sellable, or even readable, manuscript and the potential for the market is teeny-tiny. Still, the exercise was the important thing. I didn't really set out to create something sellable, just to test myself. On the other hand I could see myself harvesting the plot for a feature script one day...

I definitely want to write another novel, whether I will leave that until next November or get underway sooner I don't know. Having shown myself that hey, I can do this! I think I would like to set a more demanding wordcount target for a fully prepared novel intended for publication.

No sooner had I wandered, dazed and confused, over the NaNoWriMo finish line I was thrown head first into revisiting a bottom(top?)-draw script which I felt was the most appropriate thing I had to enter into the BBC's excellent Heartlands opportunity. It's kind of funny really as I have never known quite what to do with that script but it seemed perfect for Heartlands, or that's my feeling. Fingers crossed they have a similar view at the Beeb. In any case I had a day or two to work that up and send it in. It was pretty rushed but hopefully I managed to make it shine. I genuinely like the script. Actually, while rereading it, I laughed out loud at a couple of lines. I hope that's a sign that the script is good and not a sign that I've lost all perspective on my own work!

The Heartlands shortlist will be announced on Tuesday. Good luck to all.

So now it's all about the Red Planet Prize again. This time I'm going to write something from scratch, specifically for Red Planet. In previous years I've sent in what I thought was my most suitable existing script (as you may remember they passed on what is still my favourite effort last time, sadface). I don't suppose it really makes any difference but I have some superstitious idea that it will infuse each word with extra special Red Planet-ness that will make it a winner, fingers crossed.

Obviously I won't say too much about the script, mainly because I'm not commited yet, I'm still kicking around a couple of ideas, but I'm very excited about writing a new script.

The Red Planet deadline is January 16th.

Friday, November 25, 2011

It's the Final Countdown

Greetings Carbon-based units,

It doesn't look likely that I'll meet my self-imposed target of finishing the novel today. It's a bit of a cliché but real life has caught up with me in a sudden and upsetting way this week which meant that work ground to a halt Wednesday and Thursday.

I guess there's a chance that I might write the last 9,000 or so words tonight but as I will be away from home for at least part of the weekend it's far more likely that I will finish early next week. There is still plenty of time before the official deadline of November 30th, after all. I was hoping to be able to concentrate exclusively on my
Heartlands entry all next week but I do have a couple of days booked off from the day job for that purpose so I'm sure I will still be able to catch up.

If this were a film then we'd be at the part where you keep cutting between the clicking countdown and our hero's herculean efforts to beat it...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

In Memoriam Freddie Mercury

So dear friends your love is gone
Only tears to dwell upon
I dare not say as the wind must blow
So a love is lost, a love is won
Go to sleep and dream again
Soon your hopes will rise and then
From all this gloom life can start anew
And there'll be no crying soon

Brian May

Friday, November 18, 2011

New Writing Talent Search: Heartlands

BBC Writersroom have joined up with the nice folk who make Doctors to develop an exciting opportunity for Midlands-based writers.

Heartlands will provide an industry training and development opportunity for writers with some of the most experienced producers in the country. A shortlist will be invited to a masterclass day. Selected writers will then be chosen to take part in an intensive three-day mini-academy for Doctors, and/or
receive mentoring on their original script from an established writer.

On Monday evening I went along to the launch event at Birmingham Library Theatre.

Will Trotter (BBC Executive Producer, Drama Series) Peter Lloyd (Senior Producer, Doctors) and Paul Ashton (Development Producer, BBC Writersroom) were there to officially launch the search, to talk about BBC One drama, Doctors, and to answer questions.

The main focus of the Q&A was on Doctors, as you would expect, but Paul Ashton did cover the Writersroom unsolicited script process and speak a little about television drama, both in the region and nationally, in the current economic climate.

I came away feeling really excited about the opportunity, but also about Writersroom in general. I think in the past I've thought of Writersroom as a big impersonal mechanical process, but having heard Paul Ashton speaking about it I can see that it really isn't, and of course it wouldn't work if it was.

All in all a brilliant opportunity and I will definitely be entering. The deadline is 9am on December 2nd so no time to waste.


NaNoWriMo novel is still chuffing along. Had a very bad time of it last week, so much so that I ended up feeling that the week might have been more productive if I'd just headbutted a wall every night for five days while chanting “NA-NO-WRI-MO-NA-NO-WRI-MO”.

This week I finally seem to be settling back into the groove and I'm now relatively happy with how it's going. Again.

I've found myself recalling the anecdote about Douglas Adams being locked in a hotel suite until he finished So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish quite a lot lately. I think I've found some strength in his example this week and it's helped me pick myself up. I'm also rereading Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency as a small tribute to him and a treat for me.

Support has also been provided by that lovely
Neil Gaiman, who linked to this on twitter and cheered me right up. There can't be all that many professions where the news that it doesn’t get any easier can be encouraging.

Something else that I've been reminded of - years ago James Moran mentioned in a blog post that while you might say you don't have time to write, you still find time to watch television every night, or read a book (I can't find the link sorry, so just go and read his Big
Writing FAQ again instead). I feel like the living embodiment of this point, having hardly looked at a television or seen my ever supportive wife all month. On the other hand I've written about 26,000 words of prose. It's amazing what you can do when you try, eh?

Due to the
Heartlands deadline, and with a heavy heart, I've decided to abandon my secret target word count of 65,000 words. My new ambition is to finish (hit 50k) by November 25th to give me a full week to work on my Heartlands entry. A full week, you scoff. Yes, a full week. Luckily I have just the draft zero script for this competition sitting in a draw. I've been meaning to do something with it for ages but now the opportunity has come knocking it's time to make it shine.


Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Set Course for the Red Planet!

How curious, here was I just throwing together a post about my progress with NaNoWriMo so far and what I might do next month when BOOM! Scribosphere superstar guru Danny Stack throws down something more exciting to blog about.

Yes, it's that time again - Red Planet Prize 2011/2012

I'll let the man himself fill you in...

It's the best screenwriting competition in the world. Here's why:

- FREE to enter.

- A truly amazing prize: £5k, a script commission and an agent (if you don't already have one).

- Lots of opportunities and mentorship for the finalists.- Robert Thorogood, a finalist in the inaugural 2007 competition, developed his new BBC series 'Death in Paradise' via the Red Planet Prize.

- Many other finalists have launched their careers through the scheme and have worked, or are working, on other shows.

- Quite simply, it's a screenwriting competition by writers for writers.

Here's how it works:

- Submit the 1st ten pages of a 60-minute pilot or one-off 60-minute TV script. Any genre you want. A 100 word synopsis and a 16 word maximum logline is also required.

- If we like your first ten pages, we invite you to submit the entire script.

- A shortlist is compiled. A winner is chosen from an esteemed line-up of judges.

Full details and how to enter can be found on the website. And/or click here to read how and why the competition started.

Plenty of time to think of a new idea, polish the first ten pages to an inch of their life, AND have the entire script finished in case it gets chosen for the second round.


I'll be entering, of course, and so should you. It really is the best screenwriting competition out there.


NaNoWriMo week one has gone pretty well. Hopefully you can see that wee progress bar filling up daily over on the right there. I'm now a quarter of the way to the 50,000 word official target, although I've actually set myself a more challenging target of 65,000 words. I've been pleased with the amount I've been producing. I do have concerns about the quality of the work but hey,
that's what Draft Zero is all about.

Most of all I'm just pleased that I'm sitting at my desk every day and bashing out around 2,000 words. It's a long time since I've had a good spell like this and it really feels like a new start.

Even though I'm not accepting an award or anything, I'd like to thank my lovely wife (who is blogless but can usually be found on twitter) for all her support. She's always been enthusiastic about my writing but I'm sure I wouldn't have thrown myself into NaNoWriMo so wholeheartedly if it hadn't been for her encouragement.

I was only thinking this morning that come December, in the post NaNoWriMo glow, I might bash out a first draft on a feature idea I've had knocking around for a few months. Hear the sound of smashing window panes? Now I'll be working on a new TV script for the Red Planet prize - how exciting!

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Novel Idea

Where was I?

Oh yeah. So three weeks tomorrow marks the beginning of NaNoWriMo.

I mentioned this back in May when I revealed that I would be writing a novel in November, though I had no idea what it would be about.

I've been kicking around ideas ever since then. I came up with three possibilities. One quite heavy idea, which seemed like it would be a complex, if rewarding, story to tell. One which was a lighter, more humorous supernatural/detective sort of affair. The final idea is basically my very own pulp novel - A genre mashing thriller with no purpose other than helping me to produce at least fifty thousand words and be a NaNoWriMo winner.

It may seem daft to set out to write something that you think is probably unsellable, but I feel I have the best chance of completing this exercise if it's a fun, relatively straight-forward piece. I can start getting clever and stretching my technique with my second novel, all I want right now is to finish book one.

I'm excited. I've been concentrating on scriptwriting for so long I can't really remember the last prose story I wrote. I feel pretty rusty.

Also, this hasn't been the most productive year for me and I want to use NaNoWriMo to kick start my routine so I can get back down to scripting with some energy.

I may also start blogging more often. I miss blogging and I miss the community of screenwriting blogs we had a few years ago. I love Twitter but it has definitely thrived at the expense of the ol' blog. It's a lot easier to chuck a couple of thoughts straight on to Twitter than it is to develop them into a full post. Even a rambling aimless one like this. Must try harder.

I hope to keep you posted throughout NaNoWriMo but it will depend how I get on. Otherwise you should be able to follow my progress here, if you have a mind to.

Cross a finger for me why dontcha?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Game of Thrones (No spoilers)

I've just finished watching the last episode of Game of Thrones and I thought I'd share a few thoughts about the first series now that it's finished. I know a lot of people won't have had the chance to see it yet so I'm not going to spoil anything.

I should probably say first off that I've never read the books, so I came to it only as a mildy curious viewer. I may check out the first volume (on which this series is based, I believe) now. I'd be interested to hear what fans of the books thought of the adaptation.

There were a few complaints early on in the series that there was a lot of exposition. There was. There are a hell of a lot of characters in this story, and a rich and detailed world in which they live. What wasn't mentioned so much was how masterfully this exposition was slipped into the scripts.

OK, it's true. There are a lot of characters, and all of them come with their own back-stories and relationships with each other. There are several families with alliances and feuds dating back generations. Game of Thrones chucks you straight into this and doesn't hang around to wait for you to catch up, but then neither do Eastenders or Coronation Street and I don't hear anyone crying about that.

The characters and back-stories in Game of Thrones are no more complex than those found in Albert Square or Weatherfield. There are a lot more swords though.

This is a rich show with a fantastic cast and brilliant scripts. I loved every second of it and don't quite know what I'm going to do for a year while I wait for series two.

It seems rude to pick out a few members of the cast when the performances are so good across the board. I'm going to do it anyway though. Sorry.

Sean Bean is on great form as Ned Stark, head of the Stark family, loving parent and an honourable man. He gives Ned great integrity, and a lovely, quiet outrage at the political schemings of others.

Emilia Clarke, as Daenerys Targaryen, has one of the most engaging arcs of the series. Her situation changes considerably over time and Ms Clarke, in her first major screen role, plays the part beautifully. I think we'll be watching her on our screens for many years to come.

Iain Glen plays Ser Jorah Mormont, an exiled knight who is far from home, and gives him the stillness and poise of a man who could drop you where you stood before you knew what was happening.

I'll not be the first to say that Peter Dinklage is an absolute revelation as Tyrion Lannister, a boozing, womanising dwarf who relies on his wits to survive. Well, that and his family's money and reputation. A pleasure to watch and one of the show's greatest selling points.

Game of Thrones is also littered with distinguished supporting actors, the likes of Peter Vaughan, Julian Glover, Charles Dance, Jerome Flynn, Clive Mantle, Owen Teale, Roger Allam - well, you get the idea.

It's also got one of the best opening titles sequences I've seen for years.

I didn't mean to gush quite so much but if you are, somehow, still reading then I urge you to check out Game of Thrones should you get the chance. It's dynamite.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Feed The Birds

Evenin' squires,

Waaaay back in the dim and distant past, last February, that splendid fellow Piers set up a new screenwriting forum, to serve as a sort of UK version of The Artful Writer and Wordplay.

He called it Feed the Birds (no idea, ask him), and many of us twittering, blogging, screeching screenwriters signed up straight away and got electronic-chin-wagging. It was all very exciting.

Since then it's gotten a little quiet, so we thought we'd have a bit of a promotion and try and draw in some fresh blood.

As The Webmaster has said over at his gaff, it's a great place to ask questions, share knowledge and discuss writing (or not writing) with a community of like minded folk. Or to lark about when you should be getting on with some real work. You could even use it to make contacts and promote your work.

Why not check it out? I hope to see you there.

Feed The Birds

Monday, May 16, 2011

Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing

Came across this article the other day. It's ten years old now but may be worth revisiting. Much wisdom from one of America's most prolific, and most adapted, writers of fiction...


Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle


These are rules I’ve picked up along the way to help me remain invisible when I’m writing a book, to help me show rather than tell what’s taking place in the story. If you have a facility for language and imagery and the sound of your voice pleases you, invisibility is not what you are after, and you can skip the rules. Still, you might look them over.

1. Never open a book with weather. If it’s only to create atmosphere, and not a character’s reaction to the weather, you don’t want to go on too long. The reader is apt to leaf ahead looking for people. There are exceptions. If you happen to be Barry Lopez, who has more ways to describe ice and snow than an Eskimo, you can do all the weather reporting you want.

2. Avoid prologues.

They can be annoying, especially a prologue following an introduction that comes after a foreword. But these are ordinarily found in nonfiction. A prologue in a novel is backstory, and you can drop it in anywhere you want.

There is a prologue in John Steinbeck’s “Sweet Thursday,” but it’s O.K. because a character in the book makes the point of what my rules are all about. He says: “I like a lot of talk in a book and I don’t like to have nobody tell me what the guy that’s talking looks like. I want to figure out what he looks like from the way he talks. . . . figure out what the guy’s thinking from what he says. I like some description but not too much of that. . . . Sometimes I want a book to break loose with a bunch of hooptedoodle. . . . Spin up some pretty words maybe or sing a little song with language. That’s nice. But I wish it was set aside so I don’t have to read it. I don’t want hooptedoodle to get mixed up with the story.”

3. Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue.

The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in. But said is far less intrusive than grumbled, gasped, cautioned, lied. I once noticed Mary McCarthy ending a line of dialogue with “she asseverated,” and had to stop reading to get the dictionary.

4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said” . . .

. . . he admonished gravely. To use an adverb this way (or almost any way) is a mortal sin. The writer is now exposing himself in earnest, using a word that distracts and can interrupt the rhythm of the exchange. I have a character in one of my books tell how she used to write historical romances “full of rape and adverbs.”

5. Keep your exclamation points under control.

You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. If you have the knack of playing with exclaimers the way Tom Wolfe does, you can throw them in by the handful.

6. Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose.”

This rule doesn’t require an explanation. I have noticed that writers who use “suddenly” tend to exercise less control in the application of exclamation points.

7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.

Once you start spelling words in dialogue phonetically and loading the page with apostrophes, you won’t be able to stop. Notice the way Annie Proulx captures the flavor of Wyoming voices in her book of short stories “Close Range.”

8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.

Which Steinbeck covered. In Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants” what do the “American and the girl with him” look like? “She had taken off her hat and put it on the table.” That’s the only reference to a physical description in the story, and yet we see the couple and know them by their tones of voice, with not one adverb in sight.

9. Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.

Unless you’re Margaret Atwood and can paint scenes with language or write landscapes in the style of Jim Harrison. But even if you’re good at it, you don’t want descriptions that bring the action, the flow of the story, to a standstill.

And finally:

10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

A rule that came to mind in 1983. Think of what you skip reading a novel: thick paragraphs of prose you can see have too many words in them. What the writer is doing, he’s writing, perpetrating hooptedoodle, perhaps taking another shot at the weather, or has gone into the character’s head, and the reader either knows what the guy’s thinking or doesn’t care. I’ll bet you don’t skip dialogue.

My most important rule is one that sums up the 10.

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.

Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative. It’s my attempt to remain invisible, not distract the reader from the story with obvious writing. (Joseph Conrad said something about words getting in the way of what you want to say.)

If I write in scenes and always from the point of view of a particular character—the one whose view best brings the scene to life—I’m able to concentrate on the voices of the characters telling you who they are and how they feel about what they see and what’s going on, and I’m nowhere in sight.

What Steinbeck did in “Sweet Thursday” was title his chapters as an indication, though obscure, of what they cover. “Whom the Gods Love They Drive Nuts” is one, “Lousy Wednesday” another. The third chapter is titled “Hooptedoodle 1” and the 38th chapter “Hooptedoodle 2” as warnings to the reader, as if Steinbeck is saying: “Here’s where you’ll see me taking flights of fancy with my writing, and it won’t get in the way of the story. Skip them if you want.”

“Sweet Thursday” came out in 1954, when I was just beginning to be published, and I’ve never forgotten that prologue.

Did I read the hooptedoodle chapters? Every word.

Friday, May 13, 2011


In 2002, the military captured and imprisoned a supernatural entity.

Directed by Dan Turner
Written by Jason Arnopp

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

NaNoWriMo 2011

So I'm writing a novel.

Not yet. In November. Don't ask me what it will be about, or for any details other than how long it will be and when it will be finished. It will be at least fifty thousand words and it will be finished by November 30th.

I have, like many others before me, decided to take advantage of NaNoWriMo, the annual event where thousands of people set out to write a novel in thirty days.

I've started to write a novel twice before (see left for my first effort, circa '92 (I still may go back to this one day (this will never happen))), but that was in the old days, before I knew about structure, and planning, and... writing a novel.

Having focused exclusively on scriptwriting for a good five years now I've been feeling like trying something different. I love the extra motivation provided by i)having an external deadline, ii) having a community of people on hand who are all trying to meet the same deadline, and iii) having quacked on to anyone who'll listen (or not) that you're going to have written a novel by the end of November.

My head is spinning with the possibilities as far as picking an actual story go. I have had an idea for a novel knocking around for some years, but I fear it may now seem a bit like a British Dexter, and I never know whether an association like that works for or against you. Could adapt one of my script ideas, but not every story wants to be a novel. Plus it would certainly be more fun to come up with something brand new just for this exercise. New is always better, after all.

Anyway, if you fancy a challenge or have nothing planned for November why not check out the NaNoWriMo website, you might decide to churn out a novel of your own. Otherwise please do feel free to bother, cajole or even support me as I produce my magnificent octopus. You can find my NaNoWriMo profile here, but there's not much going on just yet.

In the meantime, I'd better get planning, there's only one hundred and seventy-three days and four and a half hours to go till the starting gun.



EDIT - This post restored from Scribomatic folowing the great Blogger outage of 12th May 2011.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lis Sladen, 1948 - 2011

I was just about to settle down to write for the evening when I saw Nicola Bryant's tweet flash up in a Tweet Deck notification. I stopped in my tracks, rereading it over and over again. Trying to make it make sense. Trying to understand.

For ten minutes I watched as the rest of Twitter did the same. Is it true? It's not true. Is this some cruel joke? When it was confirmed by DWM there could be no doubt, if there ever really had been any given the number, and the integrity, of the sources.

I sat in much the same position for hours. Reading tributes as they came in from all quarters. Seeing the breaking news banner on the BBC website. Hearing of the Newsnight piece. I didn't know Lis personally, I was just a fan, but I wonder how she would have felt at the scale of the reaction to the news of her horribly untimely passing. She didn't like a fuss, they say. We must all try to do better.

It's difficult to find a positive angle to this terribly sad news, but I guess we should realise how lucky we fans are that Russell T Davies, and the success of his vision of Doctor Who, allowed Sarah Jane to have so many new adventures on television over the last five years, and that yet another generation of children were able to fall in love with her.

I don't have anything to say that hasn't been put better by tens of fans already. She was the archetypal companion, she was an inspiration. She was Sarah Jane Smith, and I loved her.

Goodbye Lis. x

BBC News
The Doctor Who News Page
Tom Baker's tribute
Sam Watts
Cathode Ray Tube
Keith Topping
Tony Lee
Last of the Famous International Fanboys

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Well. What a load of rubbish has been written about Outcasts, mostly by people who should know better.

The reality is that Outcasts is a thoughtful, entertaining and rewarding series which has been, perhaps, let down by a less than dynamic first episode.

Issues of pace have been covered in depth elsewhere but it is not an arresting first episode, and certainly not an episode that will hook a non-genre audience. If they wanted another Life on Mars then the opener needed to be much, much stronger.

As Den of Geek suggested we badly need to see more pilots being made. They test the programme concept and, I think, they make the production team focus a bit more on tightening up. They know what's at stake, I guess, as if the pilot doesn't get a good reception then it's game over (man!). I think Outcasts relied on people sticking with it beyond the first episode (whereas regrettably I doubt some people made it through the first episode). I don't think, as a writer, producer, leading television company, anyone-else-in-the-decision-making-chain, you can ever assume that the audience isn't going to turn over if you don't keep them interested, that's a basic rule (particularly well drummed/seared into writers).

I also think that the heavy ad campaign, primetime BBC1 slot and decision to show two episodes a week have worked against the programme, particularly as the Beeb then decided to move Outcasts to 10.45pm on Sunday nights after two weeks/four episodes. That's not really a vote of confidence in your product is it? If it was running on BBC3 they'd be crowing about how good the ratings are (the same bitterly ironic situation Survivors was in when it was cancelled)*.

The fact is that this is a well written, beautifully shot programme with excellent performances. Locations are stunning and are used to spectacular effect. Aside from some clunky exposition in episode one the dialogue has been good and the characters and relationships interesting. There are many threads being woven here, given time this could become a very rich, muti-layered show.

Of the cast Hermione Norris, Liam Cunningham (always a pleasure to watch), Ashley Walters and Daniel Mays are excellent, while the rest are very good. Only Eric Mabius and Jeanne Kietzmann have seemed a little passive to me, but hopefully will be given room to impress before the first series ends.

Anyway, the point of this waffling is to tell you that I'm really enjoying Outcasts, and I very much hope that the BBC accepts that there is an audience and allows it to continue.

And if you're not watching it because you've heard or read that it's crap, then give it a try yourself and make up your own mind.

**UPDATE** (1/3/11)

Dom likes Outcasts too, why not wander over and have a read?

*For illustration: in its second week Outcasts averaged 2.703 million viewers and a 10.8% audience share; Survivors, cancelled after its second series, had enjoyed an average of 3.81m viewers that year; while the third series of the stonkingly successful (and precious to this blog (and bloody hell how good is this series???)) Being Human opened (on BBC3) with 1.368 million viewers, a 5% audience share. The benefits of multichannel programming....